How much blame belongs to Mariners hitters for offense’s lack of efficiency?
It’s one thing to have an everyday player performing well below his career output. It’s something else entirely when it’s a handful of everyday players struggling in the lineup.
That’s the unfortunate case for the Mariners, who have nearly an entire starting lineup hitting below their career averages.
Robinson Cano is most obvious, hitting .241 in 290 at-bats this season, 69 points under his career clip entering 2015. But then there’s Dustin Ackley, down at .199 despite a .242 career mark, and Mike Zunino, his .166 average making last year’s .199 seem somewhat desirable. Even Mark Trumbo, whom general manager Jack Zduriencik acquired earlier this month to provide relief to the offense, has just 11 hits in 73 at-bats for a .151 average, almost 100 points below his modest .248 career mark.
Some have assessed blame to Zduriencik for assembling an offense that continues to struggle stringing hits together. But how fair is that when players are performing so far below their career numbers?
That’s what Brock Huard and Mike Salk tried to get to the bottom of during Monday’s edition of “Brock and Salk” on 710 ESPN Seattle. From Salk’s perspective, there are too many instances of players coming up short for Zduriencik to be completely at fault.
“I’m not sure I can blame Jack Zduriencik for all of those things,” Salk said. “I can’t blame him because Robbie Cano is hitting that far below his career average. There is an element that is on a player or on the manager to get something out of that player where he’s got to find a way to hit at his career average. It’s not entirely up to a general manager to know that every player he brings in is going to immediately come to a crushing halt. I don’t know how I can fault the general manager for all of those things.”
The conversation about the Mariners’ offense can be heard in the final quarter of the first hour of Monday’s “Brock and Salk” show podcast.